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Representative Michelle Salzman

United States Army Veteran


Representative Michelle Salzman is a Wounded Warrior and full-time community volunteer who began her philanthropy journey while attending the University of Western Florida over a decade ago. She served in the U.S. Army for five years and transitioned into the civilian community by completing a degree in Computer Analytics and a degree in Business Administration. She served on the March of Dimes Committee for two years and moved on to help her fellow veterans as a volunteer with the V.A.’s local Vocational Rehabilitation office. She was elected to the Florida House of Representatives after defeating the incumbent representative on her first run for office.

Her parents settled into her family home in Pensacola when she was in elementary school. In 1995, she graduated from High School and joined the U.S. Army at age seventeen. She entered basic training as the youngest in her class and then attended advanced individual training. After graduation, she left for Hanau, Germany, joining a unit already preparing for deployment. Four weeks later, she shared a former SCUD missile barracks in Kaposvar, Hungary, with the other soldiers in her battalion.

U.S. Army supply clerk, Pvt. Michelle Hisle (her maiden name) spent her first journey away from home in a six-person advance party rolling into Tuzla Valley, Bosnia. The trip by convoy to Tuzla took two days. Pvt. Hisle drove the whole way, intrigued by the war’s impact on the region. She was tasked with helping set up a forward operating base (FOB), Comanche Base, for other American soldiers serving as part of the NATO Force. For three weeks, she shared a four-person tent with five other soldiers at a site that lacked latrines and only getting an occasional cold shower. Her duties included stringing concertina wire around the camp’s perimeter and distributing the contents of crates five times her size.

The FOB was in a combat zone, so she could not safely leave the flight line because of snipers in the surrounding area and landmines that saturated the area. She was awarded numerous commendations for developing and implementing inventory control systems that saved the 1st Armored Division millions of dollars. Commendations included: an ARCOM (Army Commendation Medal), several AAMs (Army Achievement Medal), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, among others.

After serving her country, Rep. Salzman came back to Pensacola, where she used her leadership experiences and her Army College Fund to gain education and excel as a leader for her business and a leader in service to the Pensacola community. She has served on boards for various local PTAs, county-level PTA President, as well as the State of Florida PTA Board of Directors. She has been a full-time volunteer for several years now and received many awards and recognitions for her community service.

The Representative has followed her heart and passion for helping those who cannot help themselves. This passion led her to focus on children, families in poverty, and her fellow wounded veterans. When she is not serving her community, she manages her photography business, Salz Studio, serving the gulf coast community for over ten years.

Michelle Salzman
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